After reading some of Cal Newport’s book, ‘Digital Minimalism’, last night, I have been thinking about the value of relationships we have with each other on social media.
How valuable are they? Did you just like that tweet as an acknowledgement or would you be willing to reach out to that person away from social media to converse with them?
How well do you really know the people you interact with online? Are you just merely acquaintances to “improve” the way you present yourself online or “clout”?
Admittedly, many of my social media connections have been through shared interests and/or with the intention to “network” and be friendly beyond pleasant emails.
I’ve realised that it’s likely that my social media connections (but not all) are just that – connections and not friendships. It might be why (or how) social media has damaged my mental health. You can have “connections” but still feel lonely.
Because of this pandemic, social interaction has been limited. And why social media and instant messaging has been useful as always, I’ve felt better whenever I’ve had interaction with people. Whether it’s through a phone call, a Zoom quiz or a gathering on Discord, I’ve noticed I’m happier from it.
It’s certainly a contrast to constantly hoping someone has acknowledged a tweet or an Instagram story.
Value your friendships beyond a ‘like’ or a comment. Reach out. Conversations bring value.